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  • Susie Carnes
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We have a used a prize wheel at our dinner/auction for the past 3 years. We place flags that say thank you for supporting our school on every other space, then fill the rest of the spaces with prize flags. We charge $5 a spin. We always have a line at the prize wheel. Usually people will spend $20 at a time and then move aside to let the next person spin. We have found it easier to group our prizes into categories so we are not constantly changing the flags. For example some of our categories are Dinner Out, Live Shows, Home Bake Goods, Pick a Camp, Sporting Events, Auto Maintenance, Dinner and a Show, School Spirit Items, Etc. Of course some items have to be individually placed on the wheel such as cash prizes or special prizes. When the wheel lands on a category we have a list typed of all prizes in that category; which the winner can choose from, we simply cross out the prize that is chosen. This way has worked best for us. We usually have at least 2 people running the both, 1 to take the money and supervise the spinning and the other to help give out prizes to the winners. Our prize wheel is open from the time the doors open until 15 minutes prior to the live auction. Some left over prizes we auction off and some we save to give away at our Teacher appreciation luncheon.

Hi everyone,
In a few weeks, we are hosting a casino night at our school. This is only our 2nd year doing this, and we are still learning. We have a prize wheel this year with over $8000 in donated prizes ranging from dinners for two at local restaurants to Disney tickets. We are trying to figure out the best way to use this wheel so that we maximize profits. We've come up with 2 options:

1. Guests buy tickets early in the evening (@ $10 each) to spin. The wheel would be open during a set window later, and guests would come up at any time they choose during that window (many announcements would be made as we got closer to opening the wheel, and then again as the time came to close it). If a guest bought 5 spins, they would spin 5X in a row. Or would you limit the number of consecutive spins to try to keep it as fair as possible? If anyone landed on an empty space, they would get raffle tickets used to win class gift baskets. Any prizes left on the wheel could either be raffled off or saved for our next event.

2. Guests by tickets early in the evening, and they all go into a raffle to spin. When the spinning window opens, we pull 'winners' to come up & spin - and either keep pulling winners until all prizes are won, or pull how ever many people as there are prizes on the wheel. Again, landing on an empty space gets them a raffle ticket for the class baskets.

Is one option better than the other, or are we overthinking? Have you used a prize wheel? How did you make it successful?

Thanks for your help!
SMSPA Pres

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